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MailTribune.com
  • Over the cliffs of wiffle ball insanity I go

  • I just agreed to play wiffle ball for more than 24 hours straight in a desperate attempt to give my life some sort of meaning.
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  • I just agreed to play wiffle ball for more than 24 hours straight in a desperate attempt to give my life some sort of meaning.
    How did it come to this? I was strong once. I had vitality.
    I'm hoping to rekindle some of that on Aug. 10-11 when I take to U.S. Cellular Field with nine other souls willing to put their lives and sanity on the line for a shot at immortality.
    Here's how it all started for me.
    I showed up to work on Tuesday to find an email from my boss. Apparently there was some local dude wanting to make a run at the Guinness Book of World Records for longest wiffle ball game ever played.
    I stopped by the boss's office to see what he wanted out of the story.
    The following conversation occurred, more or less:
    Boss: "Yeah, I think we should just do an advance story on how they put this together and other details. He's a Cubs fan, so you should get along."
    Me: "Cool. I'll call the dude."
    Boss: "And he wants you to play in it."
    Me: "Like, the whole 24 hours?"
    Boss: "Yeah, could be an interesting story."
    Me: "... yeah."
    So I phoned the dude the next day and got the skinny on the World's Most Epic Wiffle Ball Game.
    Turns out the dude is: A. This friendly-enough-sounding dude named Julian Cordle and B. A Chicago Cubs fan.
    Cordle has nabbed a sponsor in the form of the Insurance Lounge for the event, and the proceeds will go to the Medford Parks & Recreation Foundation.
    Anyone who reads my work knows that I dig urban parks and rec departments. I believe they do good things for a lot of people.
    Apparently, one does not just slap together a couple of wiffle-ball teams for a chance at glory.
    Cordle told me he's spent the better part of a year organizing this thing. The event will field two teams of five players who will play wiffle ball for more than a day. There are no alternate players. The teams stay as they are or the record is invalid.
    The Guinness people are quite exacting, Cordle said.
    The previous record is held by some losers from Connecticut. They finished a marathon game that lasted 25 hours, 4 minutes and 53 seconds in 2012, according to Guinness.
    The teams will play through the record time with breaks sprinkled throughout for bathroom trips, food, drinking, transcendental meditation, etc.
    Guinness rules stipulate that you bank a 5-minute break for every hour played.
    Cordle tells me that we will shoot for just over the record, but we won't disclose the exact amount of time because there's always the chance some smartass will host an event at the same time and play for five more minutes.
    Should someone pull some bullpoop like this, you would be free of my ramblings in the Tempo for a long, long time, as I would track down this group of interlopers and cackle maniacally as a judge arraigned me on multiple murder charges.
    Of course, my conversation with Cordle turned to our mutual sadomasochistic love for the Chicago Cubs.
    Cordle grew up in Alaska and was introduced to the Cubs at a young age. He figures that if you're from Alaska, you get to chose what baseball team to root for.
    My mind spun as I considered that someone would willingly embrace a life of Cubs fandom over things such as happiness and contentment and blissful ignorance. I grew up among Cubs fans in Illinois and had no choice in the matter. Someday, if I have kids, I will face a terrible choice as to whether I want to bequeath a life of pain and emptiness upon my spawn or allow them to root for, say, the San Francisco Giants.
    Several members of this ambitious group are Cubs fans, it seems. We will suffer together on U.S. Cellular Field as Cubs fans have suffered together for, lo, these 104 years since the last World Series won on the North Side.
    Wish me luck, dear readers. And while you're doing that, please send out a good word to whatever deity you pray to that he/she/it will grant the Cubs the path to victory before I shrug off this mortal coil.
    Reach reporter Chris Conrad at 541-776-4471 or cconrad@mailtribune.com.
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